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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Vegan Curry

  Steamy Vegetable Curry 
  Originally uploaded by Foodmomiac

When I was a junior in college, I was a miserable person. I spent the first semester in Paris, which sounds very romantic, but in reality, it was pathetic. Instead of exploring the city, I sat in my depressing ground-level apartment, smoking endless cigarettes and pining for my boyfriend back home (with whom I broke up a day after I returned home).

Second semester, I was back at school, but still in a funk. I moved off campus, tried to teach myself guitar, and spent a lot of time sitting in my tapestry-heavy room, just brooding and listening to the Grateful Dead.

It's probably a good thing that I stayed in that room so much. The house I moved into was disgusting. (Seriously, ask my dad. He still has nightmares about the compost heap we had stewing IN OUR KITCHEN.) At the time, though, I thought it was amazing. I lived with a bunch of vegan hippies, and despite the filth that surrounded us, we managed to make some amazing meals.

My veganism lasted just a couple of months, but I still make this recipe. Back then it was part of our weekly menu. These days, I make it less often, but you've gotta love a recipe that uses up leftover veggies, is loved by kids (Dylan helped herself to a second bowl when I served it Monday night), and is super healthy.

Vegan Curry
Olive oil
1 apple
1 onion
2 Tb. curry powder (at least)
3 small potatoes, diced
3 carrots, diced (you can also just cut some baby carrots in half, if that's all you have)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tb. apricot jam (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. Saute the onions and apples in the oil until the onions are translucent and the apples start to soften up a bit. Add the curry powder and combine well. Quickly add the potatoes and carrots, stirring the entire time. You don't want the curry powder to burn, but you do want to release all of the fragrance. Add the vegetable broth, chickpeas and raisins. At this point, you'll want to taste your concoction. The potatoes will still be firm, but you will get a sense of the seasonings you need to add. If it is too bland, add more curry. I added the apricot jam the other night, because I wanted it to be sweeter. You can also add salt and pepper at this point. Once it is seasoned properly, turn the heat to low and cover. You'll probably need to cook it for another 30 minutes, but this will vary based on the type of potato you used and how small you diced it. The dish is done when the apples have melted into the sauce and the potatoes are no longer raw.

This dish is GREAT over basmati rice, but I didn't plan ahead the other night, so we had it with Garlic Naan from Trader Joe's. (The Naan is NOT vegan - it is made with yogurt.)


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